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American Empire and the Political Economy of Global Finance by Leo Panitch, Martijn Konings (eds.)

By Leo Panitch, Martijn Konings (eds.)

In a full of life critique of the way foreign and comparative political economic climate misjudge the connection among worldwide markets and states, this e-book demonstrates the imperative position of the yankee country in trendy international of globalized finance. The participants put aside conventional emphases on army intervention, having a look as a substitute to economics.

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Taking Germany as an example, the trade patterns in place by the late 1950s were themselves a factor in limiting protectionism, but even more important the penetration of American direct investment affected (amongst other things) the nature of German capital – not just directly (GM, Ford, IBM) but also via suppliers, banks and customers. This was reinforced by German firms’ consequent need to establish a countervailing presence in the US, all of which tended to create cross-border networks of finance and integrated production.

The development of markets that commodify risk was a response to this. It was clear enough that such markets included morally repulsive speculation, appalling waste and conspicuous inequalities. They also added new risks (see Tickell 1999: 251–7). Indeed, their very necessity within a globalizing capitalism is another reason to question the acceptability and indeed rationality of this social system. But all of this could not erase their importance to capitalist development. The deepening of financial markets and the strengthening of financial institutions did increase volatility, but they were also crucial to limiting the negative effects of the very volatility that they engendered.

In the interests of facilitating international harmony the appearance of US hegemony should not be sought’ (quoted in Gowa 1983: 129). But at a deeper level it was the American penetration of the other developed capitalist countries, and the dense institutional linkages that had evolved between them 30 Contours and Sources of Imperial Finance and the US, which determined that inter-state tensions were limited to renegotiating the terms of the imperial relationship, not questioning its essence. Within the third world, instances of attempted withdrawal from Americanled global capitalism were contained (the American defeat in Vietnam had not led to any domino effect) or turned around (the overthrow of Allende being followed by the introduction of neoliberalism under Pinochet), while the recycling of petrodollars further integrated the third world into global financial circuits.

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